Virgin announced today it is axing 3000 jobs as part of a major restructure.
The airline’s new owners are restructuring the business to transform it into a low-cost carrier.
Cabin crew, ground crew, engineers and baggage handlers are among those who will face redundancy.
Qantas recently revealed it is sacking 6000 staff, as demand for international travel disappears.
They are just two of many companies making their staff redundant as a result of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
What is a genuine redundancy?
A genuine redundancy happens when a company doesn’t need an employee’s job to be done by anyone.
It can happen for different reasons, for example, when business slows down, or when a business is restructured, as has happened with Virgin.
Importantly, it is the position that is made redundant, not the person.
All awards and agreements require a consultation process to take place before employers make a worker redundant.
During the consultation, the employer must:
- inform employees of proposed changes;
- discuss steps to avoid and minimise negative effects on workers; and
- consider any ideas or suggestions about the changes from the employee.
Redundancy notice and pay
Employers are required to give employees notice of their redundancy, and must provide redundancy pay.
The notice period is the length of time an employer or employee has to give before ending employment.
The amount of notice and redundancy pay depends on the relevant award or agreement.
An employer can let an employee work until the end of the notice period, however, they can also pay the worker out in lieu of notice.
A non-genuine redundancy
A redundancy is not genuine if the business still needs someone to do the employee’s job.
For example, they hire a new person to do the same job.
A redundancy is also non-genuine if the employer fails to consult with the worker under the terms of the award or agreement.
Finally, a redundancy is non-genuine if the employer could have given the worker another job within the business.
Workers sacked through a non-genuine redundancy are eligible to make an unfair dismissal claim.
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